Today, more than ever, people are struggling with debt and financial difficulty. High unemployment, falling property values, a turbulent stock market, and a host of other financial issues have led many people to fall deep into debt and to fear they will never get out. If you are experiencing phone calls from debt collectors, cant pay your bills, or are stressed because you have too much debt, a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help.
A bankruptcy lawyer can review your financial situation and assist you in determining if bankruptcy is right for you. Bankruptcy does damage your credit in most cases, although this is not necessarily true if you are already experiencing regular hits to your credit as a result of your late payments. Bankruptcy also stays on your record for seven to ten years. However, while these things are true and bankruptcy does have some downsides, bankruptcy is the right choice for many people.
Bankruptcy is the right choice if you are throwing good money after bad on your debts and if all of your money is going to interest. Bankruptcy is a better choice if you are facing foreclosure or the repossession of your car, since bankruptcy can stop these things. Bankruptcy is also the right choice if you want to get started moving forward. Instead of spending months or years struggling to pay down debt, you can resolve the debt in a bankruptcy and begin rebuilding your credit. You can typically get a secured credit card right after a bankruptcy filing, for example, and can buy a house with an FHA guaranteed loan in just two short years after a bankruptcy filing.
Once a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer helps you to determine that bankruptcy is the right choice for you, your attorney will help you to decide what chapter of the bankruptcy code to seek protection under. Most individuals will file for bankruptcy under either chapter 7 or chapter 13, and there are some significant differences between them. For example:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to those who have income below the New Jersey median and/or who pass a means test showing a lack of available disposable income to use towards paying debts. The sale of some of your personal assets may be required with a chapter 7, but you will have all eligible debts discharged and wont have to pay them back beyond what the creditors get from the asset sale.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available to higher income individuals and/or to those who dont want their assets sold. Chapter 13 doesnt require you to turn over any of your possessions, but you do have to enter into a repayment agreement so your creditors get paid back something. This agreement lasts for three to five years.
After your attorney has helped you to decide what chapter of bankruptcy to file, your New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer will help you to complete the paperwork and to go through the bankruptcy process so you can move on and get a fresh start financially.